CFL Saving Calculator


 

 

  Frequent Asked Questions

Questions:

  1. How to choose lamp base for the single-capped common-use CFLs?
  2. How to open an account with us?
  3. How about our sales terms and contidions?
  4. What is the difference between Fluorescent and Incandescents?
  5. What is the Compact Fluorescent Lamp(CFL)?
  6. What are the advantages of compact fluorescent lamps?
  7. How compact fluorescent lamps can save your money?
  8. What are disadvantages of CFLs?
  9. What is the lamp life for CFLs?
  10. What is lamp color (color temperature) and Color Rendering Index (CRI)?
  11. What is the function of ballast?

Answers:

  1. How to choose lamp base for the single-capped common-use CFLs?
    Single-capped compact fluorescent lamps are mainly devided into four catogories: PL-S, PL-C, PL-L and PL-T. There have different lamp bases among the four common kinds of CFLs. Even within one catogory, some time the lamp base varies. You should make sure choosing right base when you put a purchase order.
    For details, please refre to the Base Selector.

  2. How to open an account with us?
    It's simple. When you first time place a purchase order, we will open an account for you. What you need to do is to fill up the "Application for Credit" form we send you, and then we will inform you what is your payment term based on approval of your credit references.

  3. How about our sales terms and contidions?
    Please see our Sales Term page for details.

  4. What is the difference between Fluorescent and Incandescents?
    A fluorescent lamp differs from an incandescent lamp in structure and in the process by which it produces light.
    The inside of the lamp is coated with a fluorescent powder called phosphor. A cathode is a cap holding an electrode that seals each end of the lamp. Enclosed within the lamp is an inert gas, commonly argon or a mixture of argon and neon, and a little of low pressure mercury vapor. When the lamp is switched on, a current passes through the cathodes, causing them to heat up and emit electrons that electrically charge (ionize) the gas. The ionized gas becomes a conductor allowing increased current (arcs) to jump from one cathode to the other, resulting in the emission of ultraviolet radiation. The ultraviolet radiation is then absorbed by the phosphor coating on the inner surface of the lamp, converting it into visible light. All fluorescent lamps require a ballast(sometime a starter as well) to provide high starting voltage necessary for ignition and to regulate the electric current during operation.

  5. What is the Compact Fluorescent Lamp(CFL)?
    Unlike the basic, straight tubular lamps, there are a large number of special fluorescents with more compact form, so-called compact fluorescent lamps. They commonly include shapes like circular, U, W types; in the latter case parallel-tube type, in which the discharge tube is given a double or even multi-bends. More recently these CFLs, which all work on the principle outlined above, have an integral gear(normally electronic ballast), screw cap(often standard medium base) and outer envelope(glass or plastic bulb cover).
    In general, CFLs are the most significant lighting advance developed in recent years. They combine the efficiency of fluorescent lighting with the convenience and popularity of incandescent fixtures. They are one of the best energy efficiency investments available.

  6. What are the advantages of compact fluorescent lamps?
    Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) were first introduced around 1980 as an energy efficient alternative to conventional incandescent light bulbs. CFLs provide more concentrated light than linear fluorescents and are about one-quarter the size of conventional fluorescents. The benefits of CFLs include longevity, as they last about ten times longer than incandescents; and improved efficiency, as they require one-quarter the electricity of incandescents. Compact fluorescent lamps feature 70 percent more energy savings than incandescent bulbs, as compared to tungsten halogen lamps which deliver only 35 percent energy savings over incandescents. Advantageous in a variety of applications, CFLs are used in downlights, surface lights, task lights, table lamps, sconces, flood lights and pendant luminaires. Some CFLs are also employed in outdoor applications such as post lamps, wall fixtures and walk lights.
    Briefly, CFLs are most cost effective and efficient in areas where lights are on for long period of time. Also CFLs don't need to be changed often, they are ideal for hard-to-reach areas.

  7. How compact fluorescent lamps can save your money?
    Lighting use by commercial facilities reflects about 40 percent of total energy costs. Installation of more energy-efficient and cost-effective compact fluorescent lamps can reduce lighting expenditures by more than 70 percent, while producing the same or better lighting quality.
    Although the initial cost of a CFL is relatively higher than that of an incandescent, the cost is quickly recovered. CFLs generate 70 percent less heat than standard incandescents, significantly reducing the cooling load in facilities with air conditioners, achieving further cost savings.
    In terms of maintenance savings, upgraded facilities can reduce maintenance costs (labor plus materials) by up to 90 percent due to the 10-fold increase in lamp life of CFLs.

  8. What are disadvantages of CFLs?
    CFLs are usually physically larger than incandescent lamps. The higher the wattage, the bigger the size.
    Thanks to the technology in recent years, newer models employing smaller and lighter electronic ballast make them only slightly larger than the incandescents they replace. There comes also a few of more compact size CFLs in the market to eliminate the weakness.
    CFLs are designed to operate within a specific temperature range. Temperatures below the range cause reduced luminous output. Most are for indoor use, but there are quite some models available for outdoor use(e.g. can be used at the low temperature of -20C). In this case, CFLs should be installed in enclosed fixtures to minimize the adverse effects of colder temperatutes and wet conditions.

  9. What is the lamp life for CFLs?
    Lamp life is the lamp's average lifespan measured in hours. Rated lamp life for a fluorescent lamp is based on hours-per-start. Hours-per-start is the amount of time the lamp is on before it is turned off and then on again. The more frequent a lamp is turned on or off, the lower the lamps rated life. The lamp loses some material needed for startup and operation every time it is turned on.
    CFLs on average last ten times longer than incandescent lamps. The rated lamp life is defined as the length of time during which 50% of any large number of lamps reach the end of their individual lives.

  10. What is lamp color (color temperature) and Color Rendering Index (CRI)?
    The color of light is determined by its wavelength. The range of wavelengths that comprise visible light make up only a small portion of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. The entire electromagnetic spectrum represents all of the different wave lengths, including radio waves, micro waves to infrared, visible light, ultra-violet light, x-rays and finally gamma rays. White light contains all the colors of the visible spectrum. Two ratings are commonly used to describe the color properties of lamps:
    1) Color temperature is the color appearance of the light produced by a lamp and the color appearance of the lamp itself. It is measured with the Kelvin scale (K). A lamp with a low color temperature will have a "warm" appearance (e.g. 2700K called warm white). Conversely, a lamp with a high color temperature will have a "cool" appearance (e.g. 4200K called cool white; 6400K as daylight).

    2) Color Rendition is a measure of how the lamp influences the color appearance of the objects which are being illuminated. It represents the ability of a lamp to render colors accurately and to show color shade variations more clearly. High color rendition allows us to see objects as we would expect them to appear under natural sunlight. Color rendition is measured via a complex process on the Color Rendering Index scale (CRI or as Ra), ranging in value from 0 to 100.
    Lamps with CRI<80 give only moderate color rendering. Such lamps are suitable for outdoor and orientation lighting, and for those industrial activities where color discrimination is not critical. Normally those lamps include HPS, MH and classic tubular fluorescents.
    Lamps with CRI between 80 to 90 generally find applications in commercial and social premises and also in the home. Most of those we call CFL are within this range.
    Lamps with Ra>90 are employed in the situations where color rendering requirements are particularly critical, as museum, hospital, certain type of shops, graphic & design studios, and other places where the work involves the accurate matching or judging of colors.

  11. What is the function of ballast?
    The ballast is an electronic device that converts electrical current coming from outside the light capsule to the right quantity of voltage and amperage required to start the lamp safely and efficiently. The ballast then stabilizes the current, regulating the pace of electric flow after startup to ensure continued, safe operation. Compact fluorescent technology requires ballasts that are either magnetic or electronic:
    1) Magnetic (core and coil) ballasts are the least expensive option but are considerably heavier than electronic ballasts, require a few seconds to light and often produce a low hum.
    2) Electronic ballasts are lightweight, allow the lamp to start instantly, and consume significantly less energy.

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